Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Black Balloon Haiku by Fay Aoyagi

English Original

the hunter and the hunted
a black balloon becomes
a hole in the sky     

In Borrowed Shoes, 2006

Fay Aoyagi


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

獵人和獵物
一個黑色氣球成為
天空中的一個洞

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

猎人和猎物
一个黑色气球成为
天空中的一个洞


Bio Sketch

Fay Aoyagi (青柳飛)was born in Tokyo and immigrated to the U.S. in 1982. She is currently a member of Haiku Society of America and Haiku Poets of Northern California. She serves as an associate editor of The Heron's Nest.  She also writes in Japanese and belongs to two Japanese haiku groups; Ten'I (天為) and "Aki"(秋), and  she is a member of Haijin Kyokai (俳人協会).

Monday, February 17, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Reindeer Moss Tanka by Debbie Strange

English Original

dried curls
of gray reindeer moss
crunch softly
underneath our boots ...
no other sound, but breath

First Place (tie), 2016 San Francisco International Competition

Debbie Strange


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在我們的靴子底下
灰色馴鹿苔蘚
變乾的捲鬚
輕輕地被壓碎 ...
沒有其他的聲音,只有呼吸聲

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在我们的靴子底下
灰色驯鹿苔藓
变干的卷须
轻轻地被压碎 ...
没有其他的声音,只有呼吸声


Bio Sketch

Debbie Strange is an award-winning Canadian short form poet, haiga artist, and photographer. Keibooks released her second full-length poetry collection, Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Verses in 2018, and Folded Word published her haiku chapbook, A Year Unfolding in 2017. An archive of publications may be accessed at http://debbiemstrange.blogspotcom/ 

(Editor's Note: This is the last tanka accepted for consideration for inclusion in One Man's Maple Moon Anthology, V)

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Butterfly Dream: No Moon Haiku by Rachel Sutcliffe

English Original

no moon tonight
I drift between nightmare
and darkness

Scryptic, June 2017

Rachel Sutcliffe


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

今晚沒有月亮
我在噩夢和黑暗之間
漂浮不定

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

今晚没有月亮
我在恶梦和黑暗之间
漂浮不定


Bio Sketch

Rachel Sutcliffe had suffered from a serious immune disorder for over 16 years; throughout  this time writing had been her therapy, and it kept her from going insane! She was an active member of the British Haiku Society and had been published in various journals including  Prune Juice, Failed Haiku and Hedgerow.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Poetic Musings: Lightning Tanka by Robert Kusch

lightning
on the horizon
my child
takes a huge
bite from a pear 

The Tanka Anthology, 2003

Robert Kusch

Commentary: Robert Kusch uses a syntactic pivot: two images are simply juxtaposed, or abutted, without transition or even punctuation. No subjective element or stated interpretation appears; we assume only a temporal contiguity between the two images. The immediacy and effect are very haiku-like and defy paraphrase or elaboration. Such force holds the combined images together so that they fuse into a third image that is stunning, magical, wordless, yet utterly mysterious in meaning or significance. The Japanese have a word for it, yugen, meaning sublimity, or mysterious depth...

-- excerpted from "Introduction to The Tanka Anthology" (reprinted by kind permission of NeverEnding Story contributor, Michael McClintock)

FYI: For further discussion on yugen, see Poetic Musings: Ezra Pound’s "Metro Poem" as a Yugen Haiku.

Butterfly Dream: Memory Haiku by Simon Hanson

English Original

tinkles of ice
the things memory
attaches to

Under the Basho, 2018

Simon Hanson


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

冰塊的碰撞聲
這些記憶附著
的事物

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

冰块的碰撞声
这些记忆附着
的事物


Bio Sketch

Simon Hanson lives in Tasmania among tree-ferns, wattles, pines and eucalypts in the company of echidnas, wallabies, various lizards and snakes, hawks, owls, robins and wrens. He is Secretary to the Australian Haiku  Society and co-editor of Echidna Tracks: Australian Haiku.  https://echidnatracks.com/

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Room of My Own: Valentine's Day Singles Party Tanka

moonlit beach ...
drops of ocean dripping
from her nipples
onto my thirsty face
and wandering heart

Note: My tanka below, the opening poem of a tanka sequence,The Same Old Story, could be read a sequel:

first sunlight
after Valentine's Day
her heart
beating against mine
in a cheap motel room

Red Lights, 9:1, January 2013

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Picket Fence Haiku by H. Gene Murtha

English Original

last day of school
a stick drags across
the picket fence

Under the Basho, 2013

H. Gene Murtha 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

學期的最後一天
一根棍子拖在地上
越過柵欄

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

学期的最后一天
一根棍子拖在地上
越过栅栏 


Bio Sketch

H. Gene Murtha, a naturalist and poet, sponsored and judged the first haiku contest for the inner city children of Camden, NJ., for the Virgilio Group, of which he was a lifetime member. He was widely published for his work in haikai literature from the USA to Japan.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Larkspur Haiku by Richard St. Clair

English Original

spring sunset
the narrowing road
turns to larkspur

Frogpond, 37:2, Spring/Summer 2014

Richard St. Clair


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

春天日落時分
一條狹窄的道路彎向
一大片地中海花毛茛

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

春天日落时分
一条狭窄的道路弯向
一大片地中海花毛茛


Bio Sketch

Richard St. Clair (b.1946), in addition to an accomplished poet, is a recognized composer of modern classical music, performed widely. His poems -- not only haiku but also tanka and Western forms such as sonnet -- have appeared in many important venues. He is a Shin Buddhist in Massachusetts, USA.

One Man's Maple Moon: Wound Tanka by Kozue Uzawa

English Original

washed
by moonlight
my eyes
can see clearly now
a wound in his heart

Moonbathing, 3, Fall/Winter 2010-2011

Kozue Uzawa


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

月光
洗淨我的眼睛
現在我可以
清楚地看到
他心中的傷口

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

月光
洗净我的眼睛
现在我可以
清楚地看到
他心中的伤口


Bio Sketch

Kozue Uzawa is a retired university professor. She works as editor of the English tanka journal GUSTS. She composes tanka both in Japanese and English. She also translates Japanese tanka into English and co-published Ferris Wheel: 101 Modern and Contemporary Tanka (Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 2006), and Kaleidoscope: Selected Tanka of Shuji Terayama (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 2008). Ferris Wheel received the 2007 Donald Keene Translation Award for Japanese Literature from Columbia University.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Spring Pilgrimage Haiku by Goran Gatalica

English Original

spring pilgrimage --
first cherry blossoms
in mother's sandals

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 1:2, Spring/Summer 2018

Goran Gatalica


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

春天朝聖之旅 --
卡在媽媽的涼鞋裡
第一朵櫻花

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

春天朝圣之旅-
卡在妈妈的凉鞋里
第一朵樱花 


Bio Sketch

Born in Virovitica, Croatia, 1982, Goran Gatalica got both physics and chemistry degrees from the University of Zagreb, and proceeded directly to a PhD program after graduation. He has published poetry, haiku, and prose in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies.  He is a member of the Croatian Writers’ Association.

Monday, February 10, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Unison Tanka by Shuji Terayama

English Original

I was breathing
in unison
with a pregnant cow
waiting for her turn
to be slaughtered

Kaleidoscope, 2007

Shuji Terayama


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

我和懷孕的牛
生命氣息的起落
是一致
它正在等待
被宰殺

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

我和怀孕的牛
生命气息的起落
是一致
它正在等待
被宰杀


Bio Sketch

The avant-garde stage and film director, poet, critic, author and founder of the experimental theater group Tenjo Sajiki, Shuji Terayama was born in 1935 in Aomori, Japan. He started writing tanka in his late teens and received the Tanka Kenkyu Award for Emerging Poets. He published several tanka collections before he stopped writing at the age of 30. Many of his tanka read more like scenes from a movie scene or short story. He died in 1983. The first English language collection of his tanka, Kaleidoscope, was published by The Hokuseido Press in 2008 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of  his death.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Dim Light Haiku by Marion Clarke

English Original

cloudy skies ...
a half-finished haiku
in dim light

Marion Clarke


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

多雲的天空 ...
在昏暗的燈光下
俳句只寫了一半

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

多云的天空 ...
在昏暗的灯光下
俳句只写了一半


Bio Sketch

Marion Clarke is from the east coast of Northern Ireland. Growing up surrounded by the scenic shores of Carlingford Lough, the Mourne Mountains and Kilbroney Forest Park,  she was destined to write haiku.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

A Room of My Own: Not Again

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto in anticipation of colder weather conditions within the next 24 hours or longer.

behind my back
a group of teens yell
coronavirus coming...
in a world of one color
the weight of the wind

FYI: Coronavirus: Fear of a pandemic, or a pandemic of fear? 
(This article reminds me of the following remark:

[Fear/Racism] has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves”

-- Albert Camus, The Plague

Cool Announcement: Haiku, The Poetry of Focus

Dear Friends:

Here is the link to Scott Mason's lecture, Haiku:The Poetry of Focus, that introduces you to the "pleasures and the uniquely life-affirming character of English-language haiku poetry."

Opening Quotes:

Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than what is commonly thought small. -- Virginia Woolf

I omit the unusual — the hurricanes and earthquakes — and describe the common. This has the greatest charm and is the true theme of poetry. -- Henry David Thoreau 

(These two opening quotes remind me of the following remark about haiku:

Haiku is still a poetry of small things and of everyday experience that preserves the sparkles of the particular in its universal appeal. -- Walker Haberstroh) 


Selected Haiku:

late afternoon
a rabbit
sniffs the sun

Scott Mason

smoketown dawn
a rogue rooster's
corrugated cry

Kristen Renée Miller

Remembrance Day --
the thin sound of a bugle
wavers in the rain

John Crook

night of stars
all along the precipice
goat bells ring

an’ya

raging blizzard
The gritted teeth
of jumper cables

Jeff Stillman

the slow turn
of a barber's pole --
afternoon heat

John W. Wisdom

sultry evening
the pizza receipt clings
to a beer bottle

Bob Lucky

midsummer stream
a grackle dips its beak
in shimmer

Robert Gilliland

shanty town --
the jagged edges
of moonlight

Sanjukta Asopa

a curtain billows
before the rain
scent of roses

Ferris Gilli

alone tonight --
the calla lily curves
into shadow

Hortensia Anderson

life alone
licking
the ladle

Owen Bullock

nine-month belly --
she slowly unwraps
the heirloom crèche

D. Claire Gallagher

creak of the swing ...
my feet still reach
the sky

Connie Donleycott 

Friday, February 7, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: An Inch of Freedom Tanka by Sanford Goldstein

English Original

walls
surround me
in my life,
so much to break through
to find an inch of freedom

American Tanka, 24, 2015

Sanford Goldstein


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在我的生命中
四面牆
包圍著我
這麼多困難要突破
以便找到一點的自由

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在我的生命中
四面墙
包围着我
这么多困难要突破
以便找到一点的自由


Bio Sketch

Sanford Goldstein has been publishing tanka for more than fifty years.  He was born in l925 and is now 95 years old.  Long ago, he wrote haiku, but decided to focus on tanka. His latest books, three in the last two years, have each said this would be his last.